The rust of your gold and silver will eat your flesh like fire
James 5:3 -
Your gold and silver is cankered; and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were fire. Ye have heaped treasure together for the last days.
In today's message the Lord speaks about a matter which most Christians do not like to hear and would misquote many scriptures to justify themselves. They really have no idea of how serious the consequences of their love for riches would have on their real (spirit) life (after death).
James gives a great insight to the truth about riches. He uses the word cankered to describe riches the Greek word means which is covered with poison. He also says the rust of it will be a witness against us and then says it will eat our flesh like fire.
A metal rusts only when kept over long periods and is untouched. If a metal object is regularly used it does not rust. To have riches is not a sin but to store riches without purpose can have serious consequences on us. James is talking of the gold and the silver not being poisonous or dangerous but the rust that has collected on it as being poisonous and dangerous.
We are vessels and God says He will bless us such that we will overflow or spill over. Understand what overflows or spills over are not for the vessel but for the other empty vessels around.
We people are such that when we see the vessel is going to overflow we enlarge ourselves so that we hold more and more soon the purpose of the vessel gets lost, then the vessel becomes something else and this displeases the maker of the vessel who made the vessel with a design and purpose.
The Lord warns us that these riches cause the corruption of the flesh and will destroy us like fire destroys flesh. When flesh is heated over fire it starts to harden, so also we do when we have extra riches in our lives. From mouldable clay in the hands of the Potter we start to become a stone, and potters have no purpose for stones so He throws them away.
What is very interesting is James uses the term silver and gold for riches. When we understand these terms in the Bible, they were used to symbolize worldly and spiritual riches respectively.
The Lord is telling us not only worldly riches but even spiritual riches in excess are dangerous. We have a habit of asking the Lord to bless us with more and more spiritual gifts and anointing. When we do that do we have a purpose for them? Do we use them for the Kingdom of God? Most anointed Men fall here, when they receive more gifts of the Spirit and do not use them for the purpose they are given for. This then makes them proud and poisonous for the Body of Christ like a tumour. So then the Lord needs to cut them off and throw them in the waste to be burnt, for all organic waste is disposed by fire.
Let it be riches of the world, skills or spiritual riches, whatever we ask should have a purpose and a good purpose. Anything we have if we do not use it over long period of time, we should be aware they would cause more harm than good to us.
If we look at the early Church in the book of Acts, when the Spirit was great over them they did not tithe but gave all that was extra. How much extra they needed to give was done by guidance of the Holy Spirit. The common man gave the extras and those dedicated to the Lord gave everything, not that the later did better than the former, but both did equally as the Spirit guided them.
I personally know enough testimonies of people having a calling in their lives and not using the giftings connected with the calling for the Kingdom of God. Either misusing it or not using at all both have led them to great destructions.
Let us not keep asking God for things which we have no good purpose in our lives and also let us make sure we make good use of all the things we have in our lives and glorify God through them.
[ Prayer Starter ]
Lord, we know from the testimony of Lucifer who was an anointed Cherub and how he craved for good things without purpose and how the extra led to his downfall. Lord, it does not take You any efforts to do all that man over thousands of years have failed to do in the Church but yet You being patient wait for man to do it for You desire man to overcome the things which bought the anointed Cherub down. You desire us to have victory over that darkness through the Light of your Word. Lord, help us that we do not overcome our guilt and your Spirit, for then there is no hope for us...
This prayer we make in Jesus' Name, Amen.
[ Reference Scriptures ]
23 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven.
24 And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.
25 When his disciples heard it, they were exceedingly amazed, saying, Who then can be saved?
Matthew 5:16 - Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
Matthew 7:21 - Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
Mark 10:21 - Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me.
43 And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles.
44 And all that believed were together, and had all things common;
45 And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need.
46 And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart,
47 Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.
33 And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all.
34 Neither was there any among them that lacked: for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the prices of the things that were sold,
35 And laid them down at the apostles' feet: and distribution was made unto every man according as he had need.
36 And Joses, who by the apostles was surnamed Barnabas, (which is, being interpreted, The son of consolation,) a Levite, and of the country of Cyprus,
37 Having land, sold it, and brought the money, and laid it at the apostles' feet.
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